Message from the Chairperson

With its range of products and services, Yaşar Group has become an integral part of family life in every home in Turkey. In each area of our operations, our companies have become leaders and pioneers, and our brands are strong, creative and innovative. Our activities continue to contribute to the national economy. We are proud of the Group’s performance in 2015 and we are full of hope for the years ahead.

Yaşar Group was founded 88 years ago with the opening of Durmuş Yaşar’s Bureau.  Now it has progressed and operates in high-protein foods, beverages and coatings, as well as in absorbent paper, energy, tourism and trade.

As Yaşar Group, we are together with our consumers in distinct aspects of their lives. Our products are on the walls of homes, on furnishings and white goods, on refrigerator shelves and dinner tables. Our food products are recognised by all age groups as being healthy, reliable and tasty; our bottled water is vital to life itself.  Our absorbent paper products provide comfort and hygiene throughout the home. In short, we have become an integral part of the family.

Our Group constantly strives to develop a better life for all, by developing and growing our key sectors and by building the global recognition of our brands. Our companies are leaders in their industries and continue to add value to the Turkish economy.

Despite the economic and political challenges facing Turkey, this year has still been a year of achievement for the Group. In 2015, the world experienced an economic downturn that was worse than expected due to lower commodity prices, expectations created by the fiscal policy decisions of Central Banks, the high debt ratios of developed economies, the structural problems of developing countries and various geopolitical considerations. In Turkey, the economic and political uncertainties, coupled with shrinking export markets, were among the unfavourable factors that affected our performance.

However, despite these developments, the Turkish economy performed better than expected in 2015. The most important indicator of this achievement was the renewed economic growth. 

Over this period, the Yaşar Group has differentiated itself through investment made in innovative Research and Development work.  This has been coupled with the expansion into Şanlıurfa with a new Pınar Süt Production Plant, and at Uludağ spring, where the Pınar Su facility has been opened, to accelerate growth in these sectors.

In our core business lines in the food and paint sectors, we have introduced many trailblazing products that are market leaders in Turkey. Our commitment to staying at the head of these sectors, drives us to continually develop the latest technologies, work on innovative products and ensure sustainability, as a priority in everything we do.

In 2015, we reviewed our product portfolio to identify those products that required modifying, in relation to current consumption trends and manufacturing technology. We laid the groundwork to drive demand in future years, by revising the content and packaging of our products. In this sense 2015 was a productive year for the Group.

The Yaşar Group has always placed a high priority on R&D work, in the belief that Turkey should be self-sufficient in many key areas. The innovative work carried out at the R&D Centre at Dyo is already making a difference in the paints and coatings industry. For health reasons, we have attached immense importance on improving water-based paints.  Subsequently we launched new products in the industrial, furniture and construction paint markets in 2015. Another example of our R&D work has been the development of new plant products for animal feed.  We have remained focused in our efforts in a range of areas. The R&D Centre at Pınar is being established to support our activities in the food sector and will doubtlessly make further great achievements in this area.

In 2015, the Yaşar Group has made total investments of TL 158 million. The founding of the Pınar Süt Plant in Şanlıurfa has been the largest investment of its kind in South East Turkey. The plant started producing milk, yoghurt, ayran and fruit juice in 2015. Cheese production will be the next step. Despite the challenges in the region, we are glad to invest here and expect our business operation to make a significant contribution to the regional economy. We hope and wish for peace in Iraq and Syria on our southern borders.

We have also made significant investment in the drinking water sector opening our fourth spring at Uludağ. This plant began trial production at the end of 2015. We see Pınar Su positioning itself as a strong player in the industry, and the operator now of four top quality springs with increasing capacity in Turkey.

At Dyo Printing Inks, a partnership project that has been on the agenda for some time, finalised in 2015. We signed a partnership agreement with Toyo Ink SC Holdings, one of Japan’s leading companies and one of the largest global players in the sector. As part of the agreement, we transferred 75% of our shares to Toyo Ink. This, we believe, will open the door for Turkey to become a significant ink manufacturer.

Turkey is a country where meat production is extremely expensive and consequently, the supply of raw materials is very important. We have continued to invest in meeting some of our own supply requirements.  At the Ören Breeding Farm we have completed the expansion project and renovation work, as well as importing high-quality breeds to improve the herd.

In the service industry at Altın Yunus Hotel in Çeşme, we have made room modernization our top priority. We have also increased the amount of shared space available with a renovation project that has incorporated both the physical and technical aspects of the building.

As part of our IT development, we implemented both Astron and SAP applications, with the aim of creating a more customer-focused and accessible structure. This technology has helped us monitor all transactions, ranging from internet sales to dealers’ stock levels.

From now on, our aims and our performance will be demonstrated by our IT systems.

‘Quality’ has always been our top priority and encompasses each of our core values - health, pleasure and innovation. In 2015, the Yaşar Group gained new certifications, especially in the paint and coatings industry. Existing certifications were also renewed, following successful audits within the food production operation. We have particularly focused on science and technology this year, and will continue to do so in 2016.

Our corporate governance ratings were revised upwards.

The Yaşar Group is committed to an honest and ethical approach in every aspect of its commercial activities. It fully implements its Corporate Governance Principles with a corporate structure that protects the interests of all stakeholders through transparency, fairness, accountability and responsibility. As a result of the progress made in this area, the ratings of Pınar Süt Mamulleri Sanayii A.Ş., Pınar Entegre Et ve Un Sanayii A.Ş and Pınar Su Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş., as listed in the Istanbul Stock Exchange Corporate Governance Index, were revised upward to 9.18, 9.20 and 9.37 respectively in 2015.

As part of our commitment to leave a better world for future generations, the Yaşar Group has ensured the incorporation of eco-friendly practices into all of manufacturing and commercial processes. The economic, social and environmental aspects of all activities have been monitored since the Group’s foundation. In the context of transparency, the findings have been published in the ‘Global Compact Communication’ on progress in 2009 and 2010, as well as in the ‘Sustainability Reports’ in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Slowly but surely, we are approaching our objective of reducing carbon emissions by 15% per unit ton of production by 2020, taking 2011 as the base year. With its concept of ‘Green Logistics,’ the Yaşar Group focuses on using packaging that can be reused and recycled, and ensures that efficiency and customer satisfaction is incorporated into all its logistic processes.

In 2015, the Yaşar Group reaffirmed its commitment to social responsibility by continuing the support and development of those long-running projects, which demonstrate a positive contribution to society. The Dyo Painting Competition, the first privately-funded contest of its kind in Turkey, has been organised for 50 years and has encouraged and promoted a significant number of artists. The Pınar Children’s Theatre has spent 29 years on the road, traveling across the country and giving free performances to more than 3 million children. The Pınar Children’s Art Competition, which has been organized to increase the interest of primary school children in painting and fine arts, has celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2016.

In our role as the sponsors of Pınar Karşıyaka Basketball Team, we were both proud and delighted to see them win the Turkish Premier Basketball League Championship in the 2014-2015 season and watch them stay amongst the top 24 teams in the European League.

To date, the Yaşar Education and Culture Foundation has awarded 6,000 students with non-refundable scholarships and made donations to seven schools.  In the field of higher education, Yaşar University, which was founded by the Selçuk Yaşar Sports and Education Foundation, now educates 9,000 students.  The University is on the path to becoming an internationally ranked institution within the city of İzmir.

The strongest endorsement of our achievement has been the many awards we have received in different areas, ranging from social responsibility to environmental issues.

As the Yaşar Group, we act with the responsibility of knowing our link with society and the accountability that comes from being a part of our consumers’ family lives.  The project, entitled ‘The Future of our Milk in Discerning Hands,’ was initiated by the Pınar Institute in 2014 and provided training to more than 5,000 milk producers in Muğla, Eskişehir and Izmir. The project was awarded a Bronze Stevie in the category, ‘Best Corporate Social Responsibility Programme in Europe’ at the Stevie Awards, one of the most prestigious awarding bodies in the business world.  In the same category, a Silver Stevie was awarded to the Pınar Children’s Theatre.  In the category ‘Best Communication Campaign - Media Relations,’ a Bronze Stevie was awarded to the Pınar Children’s Art Competition.

We are rightly proud to be ending another year with our work having been worthy of prizes and appreciated by the public. The awards received in 2015 have been strong indicators of our achievements.  The Yaşar Group was also successful in the Turkey Ethics Awards (ETIKA) and received awards entitled ‘Respect to Humanity’ and ‘Low-Carbon Champion.’  Once again, the Pınar brand was selected amongst the ‘superbrands’ of Turkey. Pınar Süt was chosen amongst ‘Turkey’s Most Admired Companies’ and the Pınar brand was named ‘Leader in the Beverages Industry’ in the Integrated Marketing Awards. In addition, the sea bass and sea bream produced by Pınar Fisheries became the first Turkish brand to be awarded a ‘Superior Taste Award’ by the International Taste & Quality Institute (ITQI).  Our Logistics Centre’s project won a prize in London as Europe’s Number One Central Logistics Project.

2015-2016 will be the year with the highest fixed asset investments we have made for many years. 

As Yaşar Group, we are optimistic about 2016.

We anticipate that Turkey’s foreign trade deficit will shrink and that the market will strengthen in 2016. Decreasing oil prices will result in a corresponding fall in raw material prices, which will benefit both Turkey and Yaşar Group. We hope that meat prices will remain steady in the coming year. We believe that basic food products like meat and milk are domestic affairs, and are pleased to see the rise in supply that has accompanied the increase in animal rearing in Turkey.

Some elements of our industry come with a very high financial outlay; the most significant of these is energy. Our auto-producing company, Desa Enerji, has played a major role in meeting the energy needs of the Yaşar Group. Due to our electric power plant, our factories can operate smoothly, allowing us to function with some degree of independence. Efforts to increase the power plant capacity started in 2015 and will be completed in 2016.

Lack of automation is another factor that significantly increases outlay in Turkey. In 2016, we will focus on investment in further automation and higher efficiency, in order to offer a high-quality range of products at affordable prices. Consequently R&D and human resources are top priorities for us. Since the first day in business, our corporate policy in human resources has enabled us to create a loyal team who are experienced and equipped with the modern technological skills to meet the needs of the age we live in.

Logistics are the third factor driving up costs. We have a holistic approach to logistics, managing it as a complete process, from packaging and warehouse management, all the way to the shelves. We believe in the importance of making improvements in this area as well. As a Group, we operate the two largest logistics and distribution networks in Turkey - Yaşar Birleşik Pazarlama and our extensive network of paint dealers. Yaşar Birleşik Pazarlama also sells and distributes products manufactured by third parties. In 2015, we made great progress on this front by signing a sales and distribution agreement with a well-known national brand. Furthermore, we also restructured our activities in the away-from-home consumption business. 2016 will see the launch of many new products.

Our objective is to be more efficient and more competitive.

In the year ahead efficiency, competitiveness and innovation will remain at the heart of our business. Yaşar Group will continue to embrace society by creating new products, based on accurate analyses of consumer needs and time-saving production processes.

In all our achievements, our greatest asset has always been our experienced human resource, dedicated to the brands and companies they work for. Our greatest reward has been the unconditional support entrusted to us by all our partners and stakeholders, with whom we interact in our daily business lives to bring us where we are today. The Group is steadfast in its commitment to high-quality products and services. Consequently, we strive for success in every area. Together with all our stakeholders, from suppliers and dealers to employees and consumers, I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has played a role in the achievements of the Yaşar Group.

M. Selim Yaşar